Wes Insights 2023 — The Recruitment Paradox
The findings of Wes Insights 2023, The Recruitment Paradox – The Importance of Diversity for Tomorrow’s Skills Supply, show that half of the leaders surveyed almost always or often have trouble finding the right skills and competencies when recruiting. Specialists with extensive experience, mainly in technical and digital fields, are the most challenging to recruit. Most leaders believe that issues with finding skills will persist or increase in the near future.
The results of Wes Insights 2023 indicate that we should be talking about a waste of skills, rather than a skills shortage. Two thirds of leaders say they do not sufficiently use the entire pool of skills when recruiting. Over two thirds also say they are not good enough at finding skills from other industries. Many leaders have also been rejected in a recruitment process themselves due to lack of industry experience. Despite a very high level of interest in changing industries, many of them report concerns that their experience will not be valued in new industries, and that it could be difficult to obtain a role with equal seniority.
The waste of skills also stems from preconceptions about people of various ages. One third of leaders believe that seniority can be a legitimate reason for rejecting someone in a recruitment process, and there are doubts about whether people in their 30s have the life experience and maturity to take on a leadership role.
On the one hand, recruitment in “new” age groups is considered one of the solutions to the issue of finding the right skills, while on the other, people are filtered out based on age rather than skills.
These results reveal a recruitment paradox. On the one hand, recruitment in “new” age groups is considered one of the solutions to the issue of finding the right skills, while on the other, people are filtered out based on age rather than skills. Most leaders believe that cross-industry recruitment is one of the most effective solutions going forward. Yet, candidates’ lack of experience in the industry is considered one of the main problems when recruiting.
Most leaders believe that cross-industry recruitment is one of the most effective solutions going forward. Yet, candidates’ lack of experience in the industry is considered one of the main problems when recruiting.
The majority of leaders see great benefits in broadening their views of skills and endeavoring to have more diversity. Respondents who state that the employer actively focuses on increasing diversity in the organization are also more likely than others to feel that the organizational culture is characterized by openness, responsiveness, learning, and a focus on innovation.
In the results, we identify two underlying dimensions of work with diversity: those often referred to in the research as surface level diversity (focused on increasing diversity with regard to gender, age, foreign background, disability and sexual orientation), and deep-level diversity (focused on increasing diversity with regard to personalities, opinions, attitudes, competencies, skills and experiences).
The results show a clear pattern: focusing on surface level diversity is a good first step for enhancing attractiveness, but only when this is combined with deep-level diversity do we see really strong links with positive aspects of culture and increased engagement. Deep-level diversity requires an open organizational culture and inclusive leadership, which in turn emphasizes the importance of offering continuous leadership development, of which inclusion and diversity are a part.
The results show a clear pattern: focusing on surface level diversity is a good first step for enhancing attractiveness, but only when this is combined with deep-level diversity do we see really strong links with positive aspects of culture and increased engagement.
For companies to remain competitive, they must actively promote continuous learning in their organization. The survey shows that employers that actively pursue diversity are more likely to conduct educational activities. Surface-level diversity is positively correlated with employer learning cultures, but deep-level diversity has the strongest correlation with a learning culture. A greater variety of experiences, skills, and personalities expands the number of specialist skills and opportunities to learn new things from one another.
At the end of this report, we share five actionable recommendations for owners, boards, and management.
Recommendations: How to rectify the recruitment paradox
1. Drop the industry requirement. Daring to seek competencies and skills outside one's own industry is one of the most effective ways to secure the supply of needed skills in the future.
2. Update the recruitment processes and approaches. Leverage the entire pool of skills and talent, demand a diversity of candidates, and don't forget the value of leadership development.
3. Set a long-term strategy – at all levels. Set requirements and develop clear goals and KPI's with regards to how the composition and supply of skills and competencies should look in the future. Leadership and involvement from the very top of the organization is key.
4. Develop inclusive leadership. Diversity is not enough; a leadership that continuously and actively strives for increased openness, responsiveness, and curiosity about new perspectives is key to long-term success.
5. Boost learning. Diversity and learning are closely connected; introduce activities that promote learning in the organization.
More about the report
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